Wedding guest


The phrase “I have nothing to wear” is common enough, but wedding season makes people shout it from the rooftops. If you’re in your twenties, you may have at least one ceremony per weekend . Some will be casual, others will be semi-formal, and dress codes are always a possibility.

What are the rules of wedding guest attire?

Here are top do’s and don’ts when considering what to wear.

1. DO consider dress code.

Is this event a black tie, semi-formal, casual, or even a costume party? What the bride wants should always be considered before making any fashion decision.

2. DO consider the location.

The attire you wear to a beach will (obviously) be much different than the outfit you rock at a ritzy hotel. Consult the dress code provided, but use common sense when it’s time to decide between flip flops, flats and heels.

3. DON’T forget about colour.

Make sure you know the couple’s color selection. The invitation should give you some insight, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a member of the wedding party. You don’t want to be mistaken for a bridesmaid or groomsman, right?

4. DO wear layers.

Layers are a necessity. Yes, AC can be a life saver, but it can also be a woman’s worst nightmare. Bring a cute, cropped jacket or cardigan no matter what. An outdoor party can quickly turn chilly as it reaches evening hours. Just make sure the outfit you wear is still long enough for bare legs!

5. DO consider time of day.

This may seem obvious, but so many ladies forget that some evenings can still be a bit chilly. Layers are necessary, but if the event is an evening affair, consider a maxi dress or long-sleeved cocktail look.

6. DON’T wear white.

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, but I can’t leave it out. White is an obvious faux pas, but be careful with champagne, cream, and even light shades of gold and tan. Brides are going for colored wedding dresses these days, so an awkward match can happen when you least expect it.

7. DON’T wear black.

Wearing black is perfectly acceptable—when the venue calls for it. Try to keep a little black dress in the closet for a backyard, beach, or brunch party. In the end, think twice before wearing black, but never rule it out.

8. DON’T wear jeans.

This rule should be obvious, but some guests still think it’s acceptable at certain venues. I’m going to make it very clear for everyone: Jeans are never allowed—no excuses. Unless specifically told by the bride and groom that they’re having jean and t-shirt nuptials, trade in your Levi’s for a pair of khakis or slacks.

9. DON’T go bold.

Sequins, animal prints, and other over-the-top designs are not O.K. The focus should always be on the bride, not your outfit.

10. DO cover yourself up.

Summer calls for showing a little skin, but don’t go over the top. Marriage ceremonies are family affairs, so keep it classy and stay covered.

11. DO wear comfortable shoes.

If you’re like me and love to dance freely, without care, comfortable shoes are a must-have. Flats or wedges are always good options. Feel free to wear heels, but think about packing flats or sandals for later.

12. DO ask friends what they’re wearing.

If you’re stuck, there’s nothing better than getting advice from a fellow attendee. That way you have each other to lean on if you make a fashion faux pas.